Within each brand that sells printers/copiers are multiple different categories of products.
For instance, Xerox has VersaLink, AltaLink, PrimeLink and WorkCentre machines, among others, listed in their product catalog.
The two main product families you are likely to see with Xerox are the VersaLink and AltaLink printers, and that is what will be discussed in this blog.
As a platinum status partner of Xerox, we are intrinsically familiar with their assortment of products and sell a large number of both VersaLink and AltaLink machines to a wide array of workgroups.
Because of that, we’ve acquired a wealth of knowledge about the two major product families and can accurately and thoroughly address the differences between them.
However, this blog will not be used as a sales tactic to highlight all the great things about VersaLink and AltaLink machines.
These types of printers will certainly not be a fit for everybody, and you should always vet out your options to make sure the brand you go with is the right one for you.
Our goal is to provide you with the correct and objective information you need to make an informed decision as you get ready to purchase your office’s next printer.
With all of that said, let’s get into the blog, starting with descriptions of both the VersaLink and AltaLink printer families.
What Are Xerox VersaLink Printers?
Xerox’s VersaLink product family consists of 27 office printers and is built primarily for small-to-medium-sized workgroups.
The VersaLink machines range from basic desktop black-and-white and/or color single-function printers (print only) to more robust, floor-standing multifunction (print, copy, scan and fax) devices that also include black-and-white and color options.
Examples of single-function printers in the VersaLink family include the VersaLink B400 and VersaLink C400, while examples of VersaLink multifunction printers include the VersaLink B7125 and the VersaLink C505.
Read our blog on the VersaLink printer family to learn more about the Xerox VersaLink machines.
The VersaLink B400 base model:
What Are Xerox AltaLink Printers?
The AltaLink product family includes 18 office printers that are generally constructed to meet the needs of medium-to-large-sized workgroups.
AltaLink devices are all multifunction printers, with two separate sub-categories of color and black-and-white-only machines.
Read our blog on the AltaLink printer family for a deeper dive into the AltaLink category of products.
The AltaLink C8135:
3 Differences Between Xerox VersaLink and Altalink Printers
Now that you have a general understanding of what the VersaLink and AltaLink printer families are, let’s jump into three of the main differences between the product categories:
Types of Printers
The main distinction between VersaLink and AltaLink machines is that the VersaLink product family includes both single-function and multifunction printers, while the AltaLink printers are all multifunction devices.
In general, the VersaLink machines tend to be more versatile because they have both desktop and floor-standing units that can offer workplaces a print-only solution if they don’t need a multifunction printer.
The next difference between VersaLink and AltaLink is in the features that can come with their machines.
Some features found on AltaLink printers, which are more advanced machines, will not be included on a VersaLink device.
A few of these features include:
Print finishing options, such as staple or hole punch, which will not be optional on the majority of VersaLink devices.
A Smart Proximity Sensor, which is a reflective sensor that automatically wakes the device whenever users approach it and sleeps the device whenever users walk away.
Adobe PostScript, which is a print driver that comes standard with AltaLink machines, but not on all VersaLink machines.
AltaLink machines also come with more scanning features, such as multi-destination scanning and a Scan Preview feature that allows you to preview a document before it’s been saved.
The last major difference between VersaLink and AltaLink machines is the price: VersaLink machines will cost less, sometimes substantially less, than AltaLink printers.
To demonstrate the cost disparity, let’s look at the cost of black-and-white multifunction printers from each family’s catalog.
Here are the base costs of the three different VersaLink machines:
VersaLink B400, which is a basic print-only device, is around $699.
VersaLink B605, which is a multifunction printer, is around $2,399.
VersaLink B7135, which is the most advanced multifunction printer in the VersaLink family, is around $5,900.
A machine from the VersaLink B7100 Series with upgrades:
Here are the base costs of the three multifunction machines in the AltaLink B8100 Series:
AltaLink B8145-Around $7,500
AltaLink B8155-Around $8,750
AltaLink B8170-Around $10,650
A machine from the AltaLink B8100 Series with upgrades (courtesy of Just Tech):
See the differences in price between VersaLink and AltaLink machines? Since the VersaLink family has a mix of single-function and multifunction printers, and the AltaLink family has just advanced multifunction printers, the cost variance will be noticeable when comparing the two families.
The cost difference is primarily because the AltaLink machines are built to handle a higher print volume. For example, the AltaLink B8170 has a recommended monthly print volume of up to 100,000 pages while the VersaLink B7135 has a recommended monthly print volume of up to 17,000 pages.
The AltaLink B8170 also prints much faster (72 pages per minute) than the VersaLink B7135 (35 pages per minute) and as mentioned earlier, has more features and ways to configure your machine with optional accessories and print finishing options.
You can think of the VersaLink printers as the little brother to the larger and more advanced AltaLink machines, and this is demonstrated in their prices.
Read our blog on printer cost for more information on how much a printer can cost both at the time of purchase and after.
Which Printer Is Best for Me--Xerox VersaLink or AltaLink?
We’ve gone through a lot of information, so let’s summarize who would be a fit for a VersaLink or Altalink printer.
If you’re in the market for a basic office printer, single-function or multifunction, to satisfy your small or medium-sized workgroup’s (around 3-10 daily users) print volume, then the VersaLink product catalog would be the best place to look.
However, if you need a bigger, more advanced, multifunction printer built for workgroups with over 10 daily users, then the AltaLink product catalog would be a better fit for you.
It should be noted that VersaLink and AltaLink machines do have some similarities, including a user interface that allows for easy navigation. This means that if you have a mix of VersaLink and AltaLink machines in your office, there will be little to no learning curve when training on each type of machine.
There is a lot to consider before dropping thousands of dollars on an office printer and evaluating your situation to narrow down the machines that would be a fit for your workplace is a central component in buying the right one for you.
Read the blogs below for more information on what to consider before purchasing a printer/copier:
Think a VersaLink or AltaLink Printer Is Right for You?
The VersaLink and AltaLink product families make up the most common portion of Xerox’s machines, but they are tailored to the needs of different workgroups.
If you meet the needs portrayed in the previous section, you could be a candidate for a VersaLink or AltaLink printer, but it’s up to you to decide.
All we aim to do is use our experience with Xerox to equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
And if you decide that you’re interested in a Xerox printer, and you need a trusted partner to put the right machine in place for your company, we can be that reputable associate you seek.
We have been a local print vendor for over 35 years and have helped numerous clients, from large school districts to mom-and-pop shops, find the machine that will effectively suit their work environment.
If you’re ready to purchase a Xerox machine or need help in finding the right office printer for you, reach out to us and we will guide you to your ideal solution, even if it’s not with us.